Got it? Good.
For lots of reasons, I just did not see the last 10 days of my life coming. I seriously had very different images in my mind of traveling to Seattle, coming back to New York for a few days, and then jumping back to Dallas for Baylor Homecoming, our own version of a green and gold family reunion. We (almost) never miss it. I seriously cannot stress how big of a deal Baylor Homecoming is for our family. So in a nutshell, that was the too-good-to-be-true plan.
But I sometimes feel like I spend my whole life in the Dallas airport and Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, and this week was no exception.
First, I even unexpectedly went to Dallas on my way to Seattle. I am destined to be in that DFW airport. I came back to DFW leaving Seattle (two days later than planned), where The Chief picked me up for a trip to OKC. Here is my way-too-frequent view of life...
As I arrived at the Seattle airport to catch my flight to DFW for an extended fun weekend with family, Baby Sister called to tell me that my dad was in the ICU with some pretty serious neurological issues and related complications. Without sharing all the details, it was really bad people. I was not sure how Wednesday would be ending. The Chief drove to Dallas to pick me up instead of letting me rent a car...just in case there was reason for me to not be alone on the highway if something happened. Bad.
So there I was in Oklahoma City, where I never planned to be, jet lagged and tired from Seattle and suddenly standing over an ICU bed and seeing my dad on a ventilator and feeding tube. Lots and lots and lots of prayers all around. We spent the next several days talking with pulminologists and neurologists and internal medicine people and some other important doctors. Turns out, my absolute favorite college friend-turned doctor kind of specializes in the condition dad had (note to self...always have a neurologist best friend, just in case). Baby Sister, Just Matt, The Chief and I also played a whole lot of card games in that hospital waiting room. I never won...not even one game. I blame the stress.
Needless to say, we never made it to Baylor for Homecoming. Every day, the doctors told us that they might could remove the ventilator the next day. I finally decided that if he was improving, I really had to come back to New York. Hadn't been here in a week and a half, you know. Work was piling up and I had done nothing to prepare for my upcoming class weekend. So since all my flights had been so disrupted already, I couldn't get a flight out of OKC. The Chief, Baby Sister and Just Matt drove me down to Dallas, where we spent the night with my family in Waxahachie, Texas. It looks like everything you would imagine a place called Waxahachie to be. On the way to church Sunday morning at good old First Baptist Church, I checked my iPhone app to find this lovely message...
It was at that point that The Chief, Baby Sister, Just Matt and I had a collective panic attack. One more cancelled flight on top of everything else was just the last straw. For the record, that was my eighth cancelled flight in the ten days I was gone. NYC airports are still running on limited service, so they just didn't have the capacity to handle a normal flight load. I talked my way onto one an hour later. It was seriously time for me to go home. I felt like I hadn't really slept since I left New York.
We finally got some good news after church, when the ICU told us that dad was off the ventilator. After all the possible diagnoses they threw out and so many days waiting, we were seriously starting to doubt that we would ever see that day. One Pappasito's TexMex lunch later, there I was back at the DFW airport. Again. Story of my life.
So I'll be back at that DFW airport in two weeks for Thanksgiving, but for now I'm extra thankful just to be in my cozy little Manhattan apartment. And at least that DFW airport that feels like a second home never lets you forget that you're in Texas...